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tv   Hardball Weekend  MSNBC  December 30, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PST

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remarkably, he doesn't dwell on the past. >> you know, i want to use my story and what happened to me in a positive way, in a way to encourage other people not to give up hope. to fight for their freedom. ♪ hold on set me free want to taste freedom ♪ ♪ freedom >> it's been a long road for me and it's been a very difficult road for me at times, but, you know, i just want -- i want to just use my story in a positive way. ♪ freedom deal or no deal? let's play hardball.
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good eechk. i'm richard wolffe in for chris mas through. the president met with congressional leaders this afternoon and declared he was modestly optimistic about a deal on taxes. speaking in the white house briefing room, president obama condemned congress for failing to resolve its differences in in normal way. he held firm to middle-class tax cuts to families making $250,000 per year. joining me now from the white house is nbc's kristen welker. kristen, let's take a look at what the president said about what he expects from the senate. >> i just had a good discussion from house leadership about how
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to prevent this on the middle class. i believe we can reach an agreement. if an agreement isn't reached in time between senator reid and sno senator mccollum, i will reach to him. i believe such a proposal could pass both houses with bipartisan majorities as long as the leaders allow it to actually come to a vote. if members of the house or the senate want to vote no, they can. but we should let everybody vote. >> kristen, this up or down vote seems to be the big news of the day. isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is and it's president obama's way of saying, look, vote on his basic proposal, the proposal that would extend middle-class tax cut, deal with spending cuts.
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it's a basic plan that the president is calling for. something similar has already passed so the white house feels confident that what the president is calling for could again pass through the senate and get through the house. in order for that to happen, richard, that would involve every single democrat in the house voting for it as well as about 30 republicans. so the question is could they actually get that many republicans to vote for this pack am that the president is calling for. but politically what he is doing is essentially saying this is the plan i'm putting forth, let's get it through the senate and if it fails, it will fail through the senate house, letting republicans own that failure. putting it in a box. president obama giving the lawmakers here two options. one, to come up with their own alternative proposal. of course, that's something senate majority leader harry reid will work on. if not, he'll say put my plan to basic up or down vote.
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richard? >> kristen, i didn't hear much talk today about the sequester, big spending cuts people are talking about. didn't hear also about the debt creeling that tim geithner, the treasury secretary was saying we'd need to raise pretty much any day now. is this going to be the next couple of months in terms of this debate? does the white house have a strarjgy for dealing with both in the next face? >> well, they're quite clear that there's probably just too much at this point to put that in this initial package. specifically the debt ceiling. they're saying there's probably no way they're going to be able to address that right now. so they know they're going to have to deal with that and the tax hikes and spending cuts. you're absolutely right. in terms of strategy, if they have one, they haven't revealed the details about that quite yet. but president obama today, i thought it was interesting using the power of his bully pulpit to put pressure on congress to get this basic deal done that he's
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calling for. and richard, one of the things he said in his remarks is this is not how the american people do business. and just to remind you, he said ordinary people do their jobs, meet deadlines and sort out their disagreements and it's boggling to many of them. so the president really trying to ramp up public pressure. this is something that we have seen him do in the past, a tactic that he has taken in the past to really try to get the public on his side to put the pressure on house republicans. richard? >> kristen welker, thank you very much. joins now by joy reid and chicago's. maybe let's roll the tape. outside of washington, nobody understands how it is that this seems to be a repeat pattern over and over again. ordinary folks, they do their
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jobs. they meet deadlines. they sit down and they discuss things and then things happen. if they're disagreements, they sort through the disagreements. the notion that our elected leadership can't do the same thing is mind-boggling to them. >> you know, the president seemed to be much more comfortable in the white house briefing room today using the bully pulpit saying enough is enough. >> he did. i thought he sounded like a man he know s who holds if not all the cards a lot of them. the public tends to blame republicans when this happens, especially now at a time when overall on the house side you have so many republicans who are so far right and worried about somebody farther right running against them in primaries that john boehner is having a hard time getting them to agree to
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his packages like plan b last week. we don't know out here on the public how much has changed since last week, but president obama was saying something he was planning to say. >> joy, is this the same thing? >> one thing you notice the president didn't doll is off any new plan. he's laying this debacle squarely at the feet of the congress. the president helped himself by previously making some offer that even his base was uncomfortable with because it's now clear to everyone watching he's been responsive. i think he's expressing the frustration of the american people. >> clarence, the game seems to be moving to rich mcconnell and harry reid. i think we have some sound bites from mitch mcconnell and harry
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reid on the senate floor. let ee cease if we can one that now. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. we're engaged in discussions, the majority leader, the white house, and myself in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference. >> i'm going to doering i can. i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody -- whatever everybody comes up with is going to be imperfect. some like it. some like it less, and that's where we are. i have the confidence we're going to do the best we can. that's the message in the white house. we we're going to do the best for the country that's waitinger for us to make a decision. >> clarence, you even seen this movie, right? >> well, yeah. at least in the works on the
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senate side. on the house side, we still don't know about those hard core intransigents, and even if the senate does come up with something, if the house can agree to go along with it, as kristen said, you have to have all the democrats and about 30 republicans. there's only about six republicans that are familiar to democrats. the rest don't seem to lose any points as far as they're concerned by appearing to be as much of a road block as they can, even if it means going over the fiscal cliff. so if harry reid and mr. mcconnell can't come up with something, then you've got barack obama's proposal and the up or down vote and one way oar the over, he's going to get them on the record. >> joy, even before he gets to the house, there are plenty of republicans in the senate who can mess this up, right? even if they have a deal, there's no guarantee that there
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isn't a deal, tea-party backed senator. >> are you giving rand paul the side eye here? >> i had him in mind. that's true. >> at the end of the day, mitch mcconnell is a much better leader of his caucus than john boehner is and he's really controlled the levers of the filibuster process. i would find that very surprising if he couldn't win his caucus. the problem is here never have we seen, not in my lifetime, a weaker speaker of the house of representatives than john boehner. john boehner has essentially thrown up his hands and walked away from the congress and the main da mandate and he's essentially said, you guys pass something. it's the house that's the problem. this is the same congress that's been behaving this way for two years. >> thank you, joy read, thank
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you clarence page. on sunday on "meet the press" david will interview president obama. up next, whatever became of john boehner? now he can't get his own house to approve his plan b and mostly on the sidelines, a mutual observer watching the fiscal cliff negotiations with the rest of us. this is "hardball." [ male announcer ] every time you say no to a cigarette, you celebrate a little win. nicoderm cq, the patch with time release smart control technology that acts fast and helps control cravings all day long. ♪ quit one day at a time with nicoderm cq. ahh, cloudy glasses.
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welcome back to "hardball." the president has made clear he wants a deal. joining me now from the hill is nbc's kelly o'donnell. kelly, i've had a lot today about the house bill going to one -- go to the senate and getting amended. is this some kind of smoke screen for house republicans or is there some legislative need to use the vehicle that's already been passed?
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>> well, at the risk of this being the "eyes glazed over" moment you're dealing with something essentially taxes. and the constitution and the laws make it a requirement that that originate in the house of representatives. they have the power of the purse. one of the challenges beyond the political arguments and the handshake-style deal-making that we hope will happen in the next few days there are the me canics of getting it done and getting it done in time. now, i'm always surprised by procedure that there's a way to pull a rabbit out of a hat when they have agreement. but there are steps to be taken. will they allow for much debate? will the house take a look what the senate has done? the big power shift here, richard, is we've been so focused the house and the talks were focused the president and speaker boehner. when he was unable to get enough votes for his idea to have the income tax threshold be at a
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million dollar, when that didn't work, he insisted that the senate act. he wants to see how many democrats are on board and how many senate republicans, especially the more conservative members, those up for re-election in 2014, how many of them would be prepared to go forward and then that gives boehner more muscle to try to get enough of his republican members to go along. in the house they'll need house democrats and republicans. so there is a mechanical part of this. there is a political arm wrestling part of this and it's what will unfold in the next 24 hours and how can they reach a deal? both sources tell me part of the sticking point right now is where to set the income tax threshold and what happened. speaker boehner wants to make certain that at least some of that stays in, meaning there would be spending cuts, and that would certainly change the game going forward because those big
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spending cuts could lead to jobs and issues that will probably be maybe some of the unforeseen consequences of what happens here. the cuts are important because if the taxes are raised, the republicans want to be able to argue they were able to cut government spending. while this isn't the most important parnt. there's much more to look at, the goal being sunday. >> thanks, kelly. my eyes didn't glaze over. it's hard not to conclude he's the first casualty of war. boehner put it forward. since then he's been more of an observer than a player in this crisis. joining me now to talk about boehner's fate. i want to start with you. john boehner as we heard from kelly o'donnell is going to have
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to face meeting democrats if we have a deal. then he's going to have to go back to his caucus and say re-elect me as speaker. how does he do that? >> i think it's two separate questions, richard. on the first point he's going to have a difficult time to corral votes. if the president bring his 250 plan to the house floor, you're not going to see many republicans go after it. but at the same time i think boehner is pretty safe when it comes to his speakership. if gentlemen were making noise against the speaker, there would be huge trouble. i think boehner's pretty safe because there's not a challenger. >> sam, if boehner's safe in his job, it doesn't mean to say he's at all relevant here. he's just not a factor at this point, is that right? >> i think it's right but it's because boehner expressed he couldn't get his plan throw the
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court. i can only imagine how angry mcconnell and his staff are because they put him in a bind. all the while mitch mcconnell's got an eye on 2014 when he's up for re-election but the house speaker has shown he's largely ineffectual when it comes to this stuff. but i see what he's saying. his deputies, eric cantor, mccarthy, were both there when plan b was introduced and failed to be introduced. so the logical successors weren't there. >> so paul ryan is the person who has the support of the house of speakers. those who don't like boehner, don't love boehner, they love paul ryan. he was whipping plan b. so paul ryan, probably the most high-profile guy who could be a consensus candidate getz boehner.
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he's not running against barren. he's not even interesting. >> if the president get this through, and it i know it's a big if -- he has to know goes yags. >> you're always going to have to include john boehner. he's speaker of the house. i think you're making a fair point that the power of house republicans to drive the debate is being underquestioned right now. people are going to look to this experience as to how john bane err may or may not be able to drive this discussion. >> sam, on this kind of deal, there's always last-minute horse trading. things get thrown on the paper and the base finds out and gets upset. what gets him upset when he's trying to get it done by the end of the year. >> the likely thing that will get him peaked would be the tax
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rates. my guess is that in the process of trying to hammer out this deal it gets raised to somewhere around 400, maybe $500,000. i think they'll get angry at that. that will be offset by satisfaction that some of the entitlement reforms that the president had signed off earlier such as exchanging the benefit structure for social security, that will likely not be in this deal. but those two things will offset it. estate tax, that's a big sticking point. the senate republicans will insist it sticks at its current rate. >> thank you. we'll be back in a moment. this is "hard ball," the place for politics. [ buzzing ] for politics. bye dad. drive safe. k. love you. [ chirping, buzzing continues ] [ horn honks ] [ buzzing continues ]
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. welcome back to "hardball." what will the deal look like if there is one and who's going to give the cuts on the wealthiest
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americans? harry reid insists $250,000 is the threshold but that may not hold. josh, for the markets for the business community, whether it's $250,000 -- i know it's bag deal for politicians in washington, but 250, 400, 500, is there a big deal? >> absolutely not. any deal is better than no deal. >> and the markets have been moving in a pretty volatile fashion in the last few days. every piece of new news, whether it was up or down, you can see from the peaks and the troughs here, just for a -- >> exactly. what we have here, wall street all along has expected that washington will do what it always does. you know, at the last minute everybody will come together and stave off disaster. only in the last couple of days has the possibility entered their minds that they won't
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stave off disaster. when reid said we're going over the cliff, the market plunged. when boehner came out and said he thought they had a deal, the market shot up. and when they said they don't have a plan, the market fell. if they don't reach a deal by sunday night, you can bet the stock market is going to plunge. >> it's a performance of how people are going to perform through the years. the expectations are high and they've got to stay high, right? >> that was the perception, that they're going to work this out. it will make the backlash, the whip lash stronger. >> and does the market find or business communities, do they find any of these characters reassured? >> i think -- i thing they want to hear reassuring things from all the characters. i think anybody from wall street doesn't put a lot of faith in
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any of these guys. but i want to make one other point. the deal that's being discussed does not include the debt limit. so regardless of whether we strike one or not, we're going to have a bigger showdown. from a market standpoint and economy standpoint, that's much, much scarier. >> so who gets us through that? anyone? is there anyone left? >> your guess is as good as mine. he thinks the public is behind them. as he's seen, that's not exactly a compelling argument. so i think that that's the huge danger nobody is focusing on right now because that's not part of the discussion and that means we're going to go through all of this again in 60 days, 90 days. >> thank you very much. that's all for now on "hardball." coming up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. wants that p. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to.
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